I have a confession: Last night I attended a meditation session and I failed miserably. I say that tongue in cheek, as I know you can’t really win or lose in meditation, but if the class were graded on a scale of 1-10 with 10 representing a controlled mind and 1 representing a mind that sputtered in a million wayward directions, I would have been a 2.5. I’m giving myself higher than a 1 only because my mind did not go in a million directions, but rather fixated on the same thought that took me away from the present. I had a situation I needed to figure out quickly, a decision to make, and the pressure of trying to reach the most optimal solution in a short period of time preoccupied me.
The guided meditation could have been very rejuvenating. I could have left with a clear mind and intuition that would have facilitated seamless decision-making. Instead, I muddled a perfectly good hour of my life because I tried to solve a problem that could not be solved in that hour. There was nothing I could do except give it time. Less than 24 hours later, the situation has been resolved. And I can tell you, that one hour I spent with my thoughts going in circles did nothing to speed up its resolution.
But something worthwhile did come to me during the session. Rather than become annoyed with myself for not reaching stillness, I observed my thoughts and I let them go. I watched what my mind was doing in that hour, and what it was focusing on, and why it was giving me heartburn, and then I was reminded of something that I already knew but that I needed to be reminded of: Life is not about making the correct decisions all of the time; life is about being at peace with the decisions we make. We are being unrealistic whenever we fool ourselves into thinking that we can maneuver the world in a way that will align everything perfectly; or that, if we are deliberate, we can always make the right decisions. Erroneous. We can’t. What are “right decisions” any way? They don’t exist. It’s a make believe concept. Life is too fluid for that. Our preferences change. We obtain new information or have circumstantial changes that shape what we want or need. And, above everything else, happiness and peace are internally based and should not be so quickly altered by our outside circumstances.
I realized that I had, as of late, been focusing too much energy on making the right decisions, instead of savoring the decisions I had made. While I sat in the meditation session – strategizing rather than achieving the Zen-like state of those around me – I reminded myself that life is best enjoyed when we make decisions to the best of our ability, accept that we made those decisions for a reason, and then let them go. Then we can enjoy being.
We have all been guilty of the wayward mind, and I’m sure every one who is reading this can think of a time when valuable moments were wasted worrying about a situation that never happened, or a situation that resolved with a little bit of time or elbow grease. With so many options in this world, knowing what we want can be confusing. The choices we have at our fingertips are endless. However, if we are not careful, we can spend a lot of time running in circles trying to craft “perfect” circumstances, rather than enjoying the present moments we have created.
Today I urge all of us to focus on being extra mindful and enjoying the little joys that surround us. (There are so many.) Take any circular thoughts you have and throw them out the window. If you have a situation that is weighing on you, try to fix it. If you can’t fix it, accept it. Don’t stay in that in-between place. Be at peace with wherever you are at this moment. And just let it be.